Workers’ compensation can help you financially recover from a workplace injury or illness. The process is often complicated, and you might not know which steps to take to ensure you’re paid in a timely manner. You have questions; we have answers. Here’s everything you need to know about filing a workers’ compensation claim:
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1. What Is Workers’ Compensation?
An on-the-job injury has many consequences, as the damage isn’t just limited to the initial injury. If your injury is severe enough, you may not be able to return to work, and that can have significant financial consequences when you’re trying to pay your medical bills. Workers’ compensation was designed to help injured workers reduce some of that financial strain and also protect the business from the liability of the accident in the process.
2. How Does Workers’ Compensation Work?
As a business owner, you want to protect your financial interests as best as you can. An on-the-job injury is a liability to their establishment, but with workers’ compensation insurance, the employer is no longer liable for that injury, and the injured party can get the financial assistance they need. If your employer has workers’ compensation insurance, you should speak with them directly after sustaining an injury so they can start the process and you can get paid.
3. What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?
Workers’ compensation will cover all the damages resulting from your injury. The specific amount you’ll recover will depend on the circumstances of your situation, but you can expect to recover medical expenses, lost wages, and any ongoing care costs. You’ll also be able to recover funeral expenses in the case of wrongful death.
4. What Is Not Covered by Workers’ Compensation?
There are some exceptions to workers’ compensation that will prevent you from collecting benefits. The rules will vary depending on your location, but here are a few situations that aren’t covered:
- Injuries resulting from a fight that the employee started
- Injuries resulting from intoxication or drug use in the workplace
- Intentional injuries
- Emotional damage that’s unaccompanied by physical harm
5. Who Pays for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Employers will purchase workers’ compensation insurance to protect their business from the financial strain of an injured employee and remove themselves from liability. When an employee is hurt in the workplace, the employer files a claim with their provider, and the injured party is compensated through that provider.
6. What Should an Employee Do if They Become Injured?
If you sustain an on-the-job injury, you should immediately report it to your employer. Make sure to note the time, location, and the situation surrounding the injury, as more information will lead to a stronger claim. Some states have different restrictions on when the injury can be reported, but it’s always best to report it sooner rather than later.
7. How Do I File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Once you’ve reported your injury to your employer, they can begin filing the claim with their insurance provider. However, every employer has a responsibility to file the claim in a timely manner, and you can take legal action if they fail to properly file your claim. If your employer is acting negligently with your workers’ compensation claim, contact us today for assistance.
8. Are You Ineligible for Social Security, Disability, or Unemployment Benefits if You’re Receiving Workers’ Compensation?
You’re still eligible for social security, disability, and unemployment benefits while receiving workers’ compensation, but the total amount you’re awarded for each might be affected. The benefits offered by the other programs might already be included in your workers’ compensation payments, so they’ll change to reflect the accurate value of your situation. If you have specific questions about your benefits, you should contact your employer’s benefits administrator for more information.
9. Are Employers Required to Have Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
State laws mandate that every employer hold this insurance in every state besides Texas and New Jersey, where the coverage is electable. Some workers, such as private contractors, domestic workers in private homes, and volunteers, aren’t covered by workers’ compensation, even if they’re injured on the property of an individual who holds it.
10. How Do Employers Purchase Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
Much like traditional insurance plans, workers’ compensation insurance can be purchased privately or from a state-funded program. The amount of insurance that an employer purchases will be dependent on the number of employees, the type of work, and the employer’s payroll size.
Contact Morgan & Morgan
If you were injured at work, we understand how frustrating and stressful your situation can be. Between the physical pain and the financial damage, there’s a lot you’ll have to recover from until you're back on your feet. Workers’ compensation was created for this very reason, but in some cases, negligent employers can prevent you from receiving your rightful restitution. If your employer fails to uphold his end of the deal, our attorneys can help you fight for what you’re entitled to. Complete a free, no-risk case evaluation to get started.
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